Long Term Care -Who Needs It?
Long-term care is a term that refers to a variety of services that help people with **chronic illnesses, disabilities, or injuries** who cannot perform **everyday activities** on their own for a **long period of time**¹²⁴. Everyday activities include things like eating, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, and moving around¹².
People who need long-term care may live at home, in a residential facility, or in a nursing home. They may receive care from unpaid family members, friends, or paid caregivers. The type and amount of care they need may vary depending on their condition, preferences, and resources.
Some factors that increase the risk of needing long-term care are:
- Age: The risk generally increases as people get older.
- Gender: Women are at higher risk than men, primarily because they often live longer.
- Marital status: Single people are more likely than married people to need care from a paid provider.
- Lifestyle: Poor diet and exercise habits can increase a person's risk.
- Health and family history: These factors also affect risk².
Paying for long-term care can be challenging and expensive.
Some possible sources of payment are:
- Personal savings and income
- Long-term care insurance
- Government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, or Veterans benefits
- Other options such as reverse mortgages, life insurance policies, or annuities²³
Planning ahead for long-term care can help people prepare for the future and make informed decisions.
Some steps to take are:
- Assessing current and future needs and preferences
- Exploring different types of long-term care services and facilities
- Comparing costs and quality of care
- Discussing options with family members and health care providers
- Creating advance directives and legal documents
- Seeking professional advice if needed²³
Long-term care is a common and important issue that affects many people as they age. By learning more about long-term care and planning ahead, people can improve their quality of life and reduce stress for themselves and their loved ones.
Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years.
In Florida, in 2020, nearly 70,000 residents had a stroke. Source Data
47%: Estimated percentage of men 65 and older who will need long-term care during their lifetimes.
58%: Estimated percentage of women 65 and older who will need long-term care during their lifetimes.
2.5 years: Average number of years women will need long-term care.
1.5 years: Average number of years men will need long-term care.
10%: Percentage of Americans over age 65 who have Alzheimer's dementia.
33%: Percentage of Americans over age 85 who have Alzheimer's dementia.
64%: Percentage of Americans with Alzheimer's dementia who are women.
123%: Percentage increase in the number of people who died from Alzheimer's dementia, 2000-2015.
11%: Percentage decrease in the number of people who died from heart disease, 2000-2015.
Source: Conversation with Bing, 5/14/2023
(1) What is Long Term Care? | Genworth - Genworth Financial. https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/what-is-long-term-care.html.
(2) What Is Long-Term Care? | National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-long-term-care.
(3) Long-term care - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_care.
(4) Long-Term Care | National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/caregiving/long-term-care.
(5) Long-Term Care - Glossary | HealthCare.gov. https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/long-term-care/.